Discuss American Psycho

This movie has aged beautifully. Here we are, years later and it's still watchable and iconic.

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you know some movie is good, when upon leaving cinema you are seriously considering murdering your mate who was watching it with you... (that happened to me back then)

The vision of him , naked, apart from his white socks - brandishing a chain saw, running up a corridor - has remained in my head for years. Great film !!

@Renovatio said:

This movie has aged beautifully. Here we are, years later and it's still watchable and iconic.

Indeed. I rewatched it recently and thought the same. Must read the book, though I'm a little afraid it's too unsettling.

How'd a nitwit like you get so tasteful?

Christian Bale was brilliant in this film. One of his best performance.

It's a period piece so it will age well, and it's a damn good film with a great central performance that rattles along at a good pace for only 100 minutes - so it's incredibly rewatchable. Bale is the last person you'd think of for a comedy, but his Bateman is hilarious!

Mary Harron and team made all the right choices when adapting the book - which is relentlessly gruesome in its sickeningly vivid detail of mutilation after gory mutilation. Brett Easton Ellis seemed so traumatised by 80s yuppie culture that you actually have to worry about him (I think he overreacted a tad), but the film imports the biting satire of the novel and rearranges the narrative in a way that just... works.

There is discussion over whether Bateman did actually commit any murders or if he imagined everything, and doodled his ideas in the sketchbook that his secretary finds at the end. Harron regrets this, and has said he did commit the murders, and that the reason his confession means nothing to anyone at the end is because the entire system is as deranged as he is.

The deleted scene where Bryce attempts suicide is worth checking out.

I remember that DiCaprio wanted the role but for some reason lost out to relative newcomer Bale, but eventually got to portray a similar character in Wolf Of Wall Street.

@ana catarina fontes said:

@Renovatio said:

This movie has aged beautifully. Here we are, years later and it's still watchable and iconic.

Indeed. I rewatched it recently and thought the same. Must read the book, though I'm a little afraid it's too unsettling.

The book is a million times funnier than the movie. When you are finished you should read Glamorama as well, which is similar

Must read the book, though I'm a little afraid it's too unsettling.

Unsettling would be a mild way of putting it. It will be the most horrific book you will ever read.

@JustinJackFlash said:

Must read the book, though I'm a little afraid it's too unsettling.

Unsettling would be a mild way of putting it. It will be the most horrific book you will ever read.

I am a horror and mayhem fan for many years, but my son would not lend the book to me!!! He said 'No decent son would let their mother read that!'

I am a horror and mayhem fan for many years, but my son would not lend the book to me!!! He said 'No decent son would let their mother read that!'

Hah! He's right. You don't want those images in your head, it's not healthy. I get that yuppies were often greedy, narcissistic and arrogant but... there are real monsters out there who genuinely delight in killing. I can't help thinking Easton Ellis' hatred is somewhat misplaced, but he wrote a great book that became a great film.

@Drooch said:

There is discussion over whether Bateman did actually commit any murders or if he imagined everything, and doodled his ideas in the sketchbook that his secretary finds at the end. Harron regrets this, and has said he did commit the murders, and that the reason his confession means nothing to anyone at the end is because the entire system is as deranged as he is.

I've always regreted that Harron took this position. It becomes absurd to think no one in the apartment heard a woman screaming, a chainsaw running (it's a condo in the city, not a barn in the woods); absurd that the chainsaw should fall straight down the middle of a flight of stairs and kill a woman at the bottom, absurd that he shot at the cops and blew the cars up and ran down the middle of the street...and...and...and...and if the cop was suspicious of him and he confessed, why would the cop all of a sudden then just not charge him? I think it was because the guy they thought was dead was not dead, nor were any other of the people he imagined himself killing were dead (if I recall correctly how the ending went).

It is much higher art, in my mind, that indeed the madness of the vanity and shallowness of the age had gotten to Bateman's character and he was on the verge of snapping...it's a fine critique of the vapid horror of what we had to endure of the 80s - the latch key kids with two income parents chasing materialism and vanity, the rise of the affluent suburban kids who shotgun their parents to death and have a party in the house before cops are called in (I knew someone who was one of the kids at a party in a house where the kid had killed his parents, and that was Toronto, nevermind the USA)....

Nah, to assert that he really did what we saw is to focus too much on the acts themselves, the torture porn of it all. Not very compelling, to me anyway.

Is it an either/or situation? can it not be both?

That is to say, that he committed some murders and hallucinated others?

I much prefer the interpretation that he has completely lost grip on reality and that the culture is so superficial that no one else notices... the horror of that is much more interesting...

@Renovatio For me, it is either/or. I think it loses some craft if it's both, and the logic as far as I can follow it, falls apart beyond story.

However, I see that I'm in the minority and that many - including yourself - prefer the story in which all those gruesome killings actually happened.

Fair enough - and that's part of what makes the world go 'round; sharing different views in a civilized, mutually-respectful manner - it is possible, people!

There is discussion over whether Bateman did actually commit any murders or if he imagined everything, and doodled his ideas in the sketchbook that his secretary finds at the end. Harron regrets this, and has said he did commit the murders, and that the reason his confession means nothing to anyone at the end is because the entire system is as deranged as he is.

It is much higher art, in my mind, that indeed the madness of the vanity and shallowness of the age had gotten to Bateman's character and he was on the verge of snapping...it's a fine critique of the vapid horror of what we had to endure of the 80s

Art is often intentionally written in such a way so as to convey multiple meanings. I assume this is what Ellis intended. Harron should embrace this. And though I haven't read the book in a long time, i'm sure it was written with a clear suggestion that it could be all in his head.

Personally the way I read it is that Bateman was so numbed by the repetitive and superficial ways of his culture that (encouraged by the sociopathic nature of his world) he fantasized that he was something more, a violent serial killer who did exactly what he wanted. But the revelation at the end that it was all in his head is catastrophic to him because he realises he isn't special, unique or boundary breaking. He's just like all the others. But this also suggests that some sort of screwed up thoughts and fantasies also exist in the repressed minds of all the others too. Hence it's criticism of greed and capitalism and why it's so unhealthy for humanity.

The fact that you can read it the way you want is what makes it such an interesting film/book.

@DRDMovieMusings said:

@Renovatio For me, it is either/or. I think it loses some craft if it's both, and the logic as far as I can follow it, falls apart beyond story.

However, I see that I'm in the minority and that many - including yourself - prefer the story in which all those gruesome killings actually happened.

I actually agree with you and think he's hallucinating all of the killings, but I like that it's open to interpretation... I don't know what Ellis intended...

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